Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Hope Santa was good to you too!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
It's A Wonderful Life......goes without saying how great that one is..... even though I know every word of dialogue at the end, it still makes me cry. Clarence getting his wings and all...
White Christmas...an oldie but still great. I love it when Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye surprise the General at the end and he's holding back his tears.
I believe that at this time of year we all need a happy ending.... a little bit of hope. Most of my days of the year are spent in the real world and in constant awareness that life can be a struggle for many. Bad things happen to good people and at some point in all of our lives we will suffer loss. So call me a sentimentalist, a sap and perhaps even an optimistic soul, but at this time of year that's exactly what I want to be.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Sunday I had promised to take the girls Christmas shopping so they could buy a few small presents for their friends. The mall is never my favourite place to be but I sucked it up just to spend a bit of time with my teenagers. Felt really sorry for the mall Santa though, I stood and watched as child after child was placed on his knee, each one crying louder than the last. There's a guy who puts in a hard days work ......
Dragged the girls and John down to watch "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" last night which just happens to be one of fav Christmas shows. My oldest still thinks the Abominable Snow monster is scary....I think he's just looking for his place in the world. I know all the songs and yes, I do sing them as they come up which starts the girls shrieking and begging me to stop which only encourages me to sing louder. One thing that I have noticed, and I must point it out, is that Santa was kind of nasty in that show....I mean he could have stood up and been a role model for others on how to treat people but he didn't. That part just after Rudolph is born when he goes to Donner's cave to visit and sees Rudolph's nose.....he says something to the effect that "too bad he would have been great on the team" or during the reindeer games when the coach tells Rudolph he can't join in with the others....Santa was there but he didn't stand up for Rudolph which I found really disappointing. Yes, in the end they all recognized the error of their ways and it all worked itself out but I'm just saying ............
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Within the last year I made a decision that the career path I had chosen was going to be a successful one. No ifs and or buts. It was time to pull that head out of the clouds and work to make it happen and to realize only I can do that. It is my responsibility.......
I was always talking about submitting to a variety of galleries and now I am. Is there rejection? Of course there is but if you believe in what you do you shrug it off and keep on going. It's the only way. Since I took this approach it's amazing how far I've come and how many galleries are interested. The biggest drawback of my work is the way it photographs. Capturing two dimensionality in a jpeg is all but impossible so the work needs to be seen in person to appreciate the texture of it.
I also began realizing that all the work I was creating just wasn't getting seen so I started marketing which I knew absolutely nothing about. The Cityline segment came about because I sent an email, a few jpegs and my website explaining to them what I did and why I thought their viewers may be interested. I love the age of technology for that reason alone....ease of communication. Now perhaps I would never have heard back from them but that's not the point, the point is that I took action and put myself out there and you just never know what the possibilities from that effort will be. There is a wonderful self confidence that washes over you when that realization occurs.
So what am I doing now? Well there has been a great response from the Cityline segment, I'm in talks with a few different galleries regarding representation and two leading magazines have approached me regarding an artist profile. Won't talk about who until it's a done deal. I guess what I'm trying to say is that for me, all of this has taken place because I started understanding that there are two parts to what I do....the artistic part that fuels my creativity, makes me feel alive and connected and the business part that is simply that..........business.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
This coming weekend we host our annual "Tree Hunt" where many of our friends get together and we head out to our local tree farm to find the "perfect" tree. Judging by some of the trees we've picked in past years "perfect" may be too strong a word. Anyway, afterward everyone makes there way back here for chilli and lots of delicious food supplied by all. Last year Kelly made samosas that were to die for.....if she's reading this ... no, I'm not being subtle at all.
Will post new work sometime this week when done.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Many of you were looking for a way in which to watch..........
Cityline just put up the clip on their website.......Go to Cityline ...Scroll down to Other Clips and click onto Mixed Media Art.....you'll have to sit through a 30 sec ad for a tv show but it will come on right after that...........
Monday, November 30, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Have a wonderful weekend.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I also found out today that I'm involved in a "smalls" show at Hartley Woodside's Gallery on Saturday which will run until Christmas. We had discussed the show back when the Images Tour was in full swing but I hadn't heard anything further until today when I received the flyer in which my art was front and center........uh ohh. Since I'm already involved in the Art Show in the Village all weekend I'll drive up to Hartley's on Friday with a couple pieces. He has a very loyal clientele and they buy art.
So yes, I'm excited with so much going on right now and just a touch overwhelmed. One of my friends, upon hearing this yesterday said "Enjoy this as you've worked hard and deserve it...just take the ride and see where it will take you...life is always stranger than fiction" I'm holding that close to my heart this week.
Monday, November 23, 2009
We also (thanks to Tracy) have a Facebook Page which 700 fans (note: just checked and we are up to 773) have joined since it was published just last Thursday night...... check out Tracy's blog to find out her take on it as she has a great post this a.m.
Me? I need to get back to the studio ............
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
If you remember back a few posts I had mentioned that this was going to be my year to "get out there", to finally begin taking chances and spend some serious time marketing my work. I've been at this for some ten years now and although my work has evolved to where it is today....it was time for me to step out of the box, so to speak.
On Thursday I got an email from the producer of Cityline asking if I was interested in having three of my pieces appear on the show. They were doing a segment on art and artists and I was one of three or four they had invited to the show. I had initially emailed them with a blurb about my work and process and voila...........
Now I won't actually be on television but my work will and that is the important part. So I've been ultra pumped since then and so honoured to have my work on a show I myself have watched for the past fifteen years. I was home on maternity leave when I first started tuning in every morning at 10 a.m.
So on Thursday November 26th I'll head to Toronto for the taping but the show won't be aired until December 3rd. If your in Canada and have cable you'll more than likely be able to see it. I know it airs here at 9 a.m. You would have to check your local listings.
A big thank you to all who read this blog each and every week. Your support is and always will be appreciated on this end. The first few months the only people who read it were my friends and family but it has now blossomed to people from England to Turkey and my numbers continue to grow each and every week.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
There was wet snow here this a.m. but I've heard a milder turnaround by the weekend. I am headed up to the Silverbridge Gallery tomorrow morning to drop off some new work which I pretty damn pleased with. They have been a great gallery when it comes to sales and I really like Michelle a lot.
Something exciting is in the process which I've been dying to talk about but I can't just yet and seeing as it isn't a done deal I'm keeping quiet until I find out for sure. If it does come together though I'll announce it here first................
Well, my green tea and studio await so.............
Monday, November 2, 2009
I posted the above picture because it kind of ties into one of my favourite quotes from the book Tuesdays with Morrie. To me it has always put my life into perspective.
For some strange reason I don't seem to mind birthdays at all. Rather than feel sad they seem to have the opposite effect on me. I just feel lucky that I'm still here and I've been fortunate enough to live the life I have. I have the most wonderful family who loves me as I love them and yes, we drive each other crazy sometimes but in some ways that just adds to the enjoyment of it all. I have the most wonderful friends who are supportive, loving and caring. I don't know where I'd be without them. I have my art which I am more passionate about today than I was when I first started. To be in the studio and to create is such a very large part of my life.
So tonight as we sit down to dinner and as is tradition in our family, John and the girls will each get a chance to toast me and to say a little something about what I mean to them. I will sit there and take it all in, enjoying the moment and feeling so damn grateful for the small things in life.
But I think I'll leave the last word to my friend Tom who sent me this message last night...............
"Happy Birthday, Mel. Make this the best day of this year...share with family and friends. You have earned another FREE trip around the Sun...starting tomorrow!!!"
Friday, October 30, 2009
I've been busy in the studio but also planning for our upcoming Art Appreciation Show. This was the brainchild of Paul Harris who is the president of our community association. He approached me with the idea last year of having a one day event at our village hall to celebrate all the local artists in the area. I thought it was a great idea and if anything I really wanted the people who came out to get a chance to meet the artists who live around here and hopefully support their work with a purchase. Anyone can go to Walmart but to purchase a one of a kind piece of art from an artist means so much more. Last year I had our neighbours who live across the street come up to me at the show, surprised that I was an artist, which I honestly found a bit strange....not like I'm famous or anything close to that (in my dreams maybe) but I have been written up in the local paper quite a few times and what do they think I'm doing at night in that window with all the lights and the easel.......have they not seen me dancing???
So I've got about 14 artists which is 3 up from last year and we have also decided to extend the show one more day. We had such an amazing turnout last year and such great feedback we thought it a good idea. There are seasoned artists, many from the Images Studio Tour as well as a few newcomers.
So I'm sure everyone on the planet has seen the Black Eyed Peas performance on Oprah when the entire crowd got into it but I'm posting here anyway because it makes me feel good and hey, this is my blog. Also my favourite song right now and has been for quite awhile. So if your having a not so great day, check it out...........guaranteed to make you feel better.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
That was perhaps a year ago so imagine my surprise when I was catching up with
Bob's blog and I saw this beautiful young girl wearing one of the shirts. I got all emotional and emailed Bob immediately to see if I could post that photo here. I then printed it off and stuck it smack dab in the middle of my bulletinboard in the studio.
Whenever I see it, not only do I smile but am reminded of how one small thing that I have done has created something good for someone else. Nothing better than that feeling.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Just arrived back from Hartley Woodside's where I picked up the remainder of my work from The Images Tour. He kept the work on for an extra week and a bit and I'm happy that he did as he sold a small work, a framed piece and a painting. Things are looking up people......
So I've been on a bit of a roll these last few days. I was really inspired by Lisa Call's blog post from her Make Big Art site, entitled The Power of Responsibility....July 5th 2009. When I first read it this past summer I loved it so much I printed it off and hung it in my studio. Well, like most of the things in my studio it ended up behind some other papers or some crazy thing like that. I came across it a few days ago, reread it and "bing" something connected in a huge way with me. I immediately sat down and wrote out a list of goals for myself and what I needed to do to make it happen. The operative word being what "I" needed to do. I just decided there and then to grab the bull my the horns, so to speak, and start taking some chances.
I've started sending out submission packages to various galleries I'm interested in (which I've talked about forever but never started), submitted story ideas to some magazines regarding my art, there is something else in the works too which I'm crazy excited by but it is much to premature to discuss here and I may jinx it.
Anyway, the point I'm trying to make here is.... I'm moving out of my comfort zone and right out into........who knows what. Will my work be rejected? Probably, any artist knows you have to develop a thick skin to be in this game. Will my work be accepted? Maybe, and on many levels it already has but for me, I know if I don't start taking those chances I'm guaranteed to never get rejected and I'm guaranteed to continue to stagnate. If I do take the leap, only then will I know my full potential.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
So here I sit on a Tuesday night when everyone else is tucked into bed and hopefully asleep. Dishes done, laundry dried and folded, garbage taken out, kitchen floor swept and I'm printing off CV's and Artist Statements. I probably should have done this earlier today but I'm trying to reserve daytime hours for the studio and Jian Ghomeshi on Q and nights for paperwork (yuck). I just finished the above piece this afternoon and have two others on the go.
Tracy Helgeson put up a great post today entitled.." A Peek Inside My Drawers"..yeah, a great title. I absolutely love seeing the inside of other artist's studios and how they set everything up. O.k. I feel as if I am just continuing to ramble now so think I'll sign off and hit the sack. 6:30a.m. does come early.
Today I feel as if I may be coming down with a bit of cold. No surprising since everyone that lives in this house has had it already and has NOT been coughing into their arms. Haven't they been watching those public service annoucements? I'm still taking my Cold FX though, drinking lots of tea and keeping warm.
I'm also trying to organize, to the best of my abilities since organization is not my strong suit, a small art show at our community hall. Last year was our first and it ended up being quite successful so this year we've extended it to two days and a few more artists. It really gives the people who live in our area a great opportunity to come out and meet the talented artists who work here and perhaps support them by buying some of their work More about the show and the artists featured in upcoming posts....
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
So in my aim to please, here it is in it's entirety. Feel free to print if off if you'd like and even frame it if you want..........and yes, I am kidding!
Through my work I try to explore the persistence of things in the world. This fascinates me. The sky, bodies of water, trees and humanity………..the strength of the human spirit…….all of these things become symbols of endurance and timelessness
Within my art, glimpses of everyday merge with fragment of memory and of personal experiences. I do not concern myself with capturing naturalistic impressions whether they be nature based or figurative but instead focus on capturing a mood or a feeling. That blurred, soft, dreamlike line between where reality ends and spirit begins intrigues me. Creating work that is fluid and ever changing just as in life……a connection of sorts to a moment in time that inevitably disappears in an instant.
The use of organic materials within my work keeps me rooted in the natural world. A world of lush wools and silks, small stones from the shores of Lake Superior and finely woven threads. The delicate balance of these alongside manmade acrylic paints satisfies my need to remain grounded and centered in my work as well as in my life. It somehow connects me to the space in which I live, the world in which I inhabit.
My art does not strive to make a statement whether it be political or societal but instead it is, and continues to be, my search for enlightenment and connection which may in turn be a statement in itself.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Last night also turned out to be the university open house where all the schools show up to recruit a new batch of students who are looking to head off next fall. I didn't hold out much for the presentations but in the end it turned out to be quite informative and gave Sierah a better idea of what would work best for her. When I glanced over as she asked a question I couldn't help but notice at how grown up and independent she had become. For a split second I thought I may start to cry and totally embarrass her and have everyone thinking her mother may have emotional issues but I thankfully held it together in the end. I am excited for her and for the opportunities that will be there for the taking. Her life will open up in ways that she has never dreamed possible and truthfully, there is no one I know that is more ready to embark on a new chapter in their life then Sierah..................my beautiful, independent baby.
Monday, September 28, 2009
The media kickoff to the Images Studio Tour turned out to be a resounding success. My friend Anna who is also the owner of the North Simcoe News picked me up around 3:15 and off we went. The event was being held At The Five and was hopping when we walked in at 3:45. Anna, being with the media, was entitled to a Images Tour Cocktail which ended up being a Green Apple Martini with Carmel.........me?.... well artists had to buy their own drinks. Story of my life.................
So after some mandatory speeches, the food arrived and and everyone naturally gravitated there. This year the tour has joined forces with our local farmers and we are proudly raising the banner for supporting local food and local art. Most of the food the chef from At The Five served was local..........everything from butternut squash soup, vegetarian pizza, cheeses and salmon. It was all delicious and hats off to Kathy Hunt for organizing such a wonderful event.
By the time I got home I was hoping someone in the family had stopped off for a pizza as I was stuffed and forgot to take something out for dinner. Luckily I had made a large salad earlier in the day and threw together a few grilled cheese sandwiches. No one looked all that excited about the meal I had prepared (thrown together) but it was eat it or make your own. Everything got eaten.............
My friend Anna & the Mayor Harry Hughes
Friday, September 25, 2009
On the art front..........our kickoff for the Images Tour 2009 will be held Monday September 28th At The Five Restaurant in Barrie from 4pm to 6pm
Hope you have a great weekend
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Not much to say so I haven't posted much this last week. I'm just spending what time I can in the studio and falling into the routine of back to school for the girls. My friend Kelly who I consult regularly on nutritional/fitness matters has been informing me a lot lately on the health properties of Vitamin D and I've also been reading a great book called "Superfoods" Most of the info I do already know but findings behind why they are considered superfoods are interesting. I've always felt your health is your responsibility. Doctors don't know all the answers and sometimes it feels as if they barely know the questions. Education yourself and be informed. Just my small rant for the day.............
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
It was just about the coolest experience to be that close to such an amazing bird. I felt a little bit in awe of him and stunned myself that I could get this close. I was desperately hoping that his wing wasn't broken because then I'd have no idea what needed to be done and would probably start crying because....well, just because I'm emotional like that but lo and behold after 10 long mins. he turned his head and looked directly at me, turned his head and looked at my daughter, shook himself off, took a couple of steps and flew away.
Even though it was just a small moment in time it continued to stay with me for the reminder of the night. There was something about the light at that time of day, something about that brief moment that Sierah and I shared being guardians to this helpless bird, something about being kind and something about doing right...............
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Last night was such a treat as John and I were two of hundred or so invited to dinner and the premiere of the McMichael Art Gallery's "Challenging Traditions" show. It was a stunning exhibit of contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast. I so would have brought my camera but figured no one else would be quite that tacky as to take photos so I decided to leave it at home........but now I do wish I could have taken a couple shots.
This exhibit focused on First Nation's artists who were taking traditional artistic forms and infusing them with modern cultural influences. Beautiful silver bracelets engraved with flying ravens, large carved and embossed masks (some were quite disturbing and I found myself thinking that I wouldn't want to wake up in the night for some water, turn on the light and have it looking at me.....but that's just me), painted totem polls, bentwood boxes and more.........over 70 pieces in total. It was absolutely thrilling to walk amongst all this thoughy provoking art and to know that all but one of the artists were still living and creating.
Speaking of creating, work is going well for the Images Tour which is incidently right around the corner. I will be at stop M if anyone wants to come out and say hello. There is a complete map in the brochure on the site if your interested. I am so fortunate this year to be hosted by the amazing Hartley Woodside, potter extraordinaire. I will be guested at his gallery along with Gary Dover who is an award winning bird carver. It's a great weekend for a drive and the autumn colours are at their peak.
Friday, September 11, 2009
So today we opted for a salad. We walked quite aways from the central hub we had become accustomed to and I think we got lost but John won't admit it. We didn't look at a map or have a plan we just started walking which in many ways is the best way to see Bordeaux. Along the way I passed my new fav place which is Paul. A bakery which is quite popular here something like our Tim Hortons but where everything tastes 1,000 times better........especially the fresh chocolate eclairs.
We eventually stopped to try and figure out where we were and to grab some lunch. Because we were more on the outskirts of Bordeaux the language barrier became quite prevalent. Neither our waiter nor anyone else in the cafe spoke English. The menu was written on a chalk board beside our table and we and our waiter tried to bridge the gap. He pointed at a lot of things and then said "duck". Duck is big in France. I don't like duck. The older couple with the tiny dog who hid under their table got into the act as well and soon it became an interesting game of charades. The woman began pulling at her neck saying "gizzard" which didn't sound all that appetizing to me so I made a note not to order that. Eventually we chose a salad which was beautiful. It did come with beef that looked pretty raw to me. John ate that. There were walnuts, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce and small pieces of baguette with warm camembert cheese on top sprinked with rosemary.
On the way back John suddenly pulled me into this store and low and behold the most art supplies I have ever seen in one place. Like dying to going to heaven for me.